BMW Production Chief Defends Electric Mini’s Driving Range

BMW’s production chief Oliver Zipse was keen on defending Mini’s decision to offer the new electric Mini Cooper SE with only one battery option.

Zipse, who is considered to be BMW’s next CEO after current boss Harald Krueger announced he’s stepping down, said that a bigger battery pack would make the electric Mini too expensive for its own good.

“It’s an urban car and 140 miles is exactly on the sweet spot. There are not so many electric cars in that price range,” Zipse said to Automotive News.

Also Read: MINI Cooper SE Breaks Cover With 181 HP Electric Motor, Up To 167 Miles Of Range

Mini revealed earlier today the much anticipated battery-electric version of its three-door hatchback, which features the electric motor from the i3S, a 32.6 kWh battery and a claimed driving range of between 146 and 167 miles (235 to 270 km).

The new Mini Cooper SE will be priced from £24,400 in the UK -including the local government’s plug-in car grant-, making it slightly cheaper than a ‘equivalent spec level’ petrol Cooper S with an automatic transmission. Prices in Germany start from 32,000 euros.

The new electric Mini manages to fit the T-shaped battery pack into the space usually reserved for the fuel tank and exhaust system. The electric motor sits at the same position where the internal combustion engine sits -it even uses the same engine mounts.

Mini says that the new Cooper SE is focused more on performance rather than range. 0-62mph (100km/h) comes in 7.3 seconds, with the top speed limited to 93mph (150km/h). The company’s new EV will be able to recharge its battery up to 80 percent from flat in 35 minutes via a 50kW charger, or 150 minutes with a 11kW wall box.

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  • StrangerGP

    This is bs, all Minis are expensive by default and they’ve also grown over the years to make room for more batteries.

    • Matt

      Even though Mini’s have grown, the regular model still isn’t that big. Seeing as the platform wasn’t designed to accommodate batteries anyway, there’s actually not much room for them.

  • Mr. EP9

    Nah, they got lazy and decided not to put in the extra effort because they didn’t want it competing with BMW’s future EV models.

  • JRP

    BMW chiefs defend everything

    • Matt

      Uh, did you expect them to not defend their own products?

      • JRP

        When their poor designs receive negative criticism they don’t go fix the problem that could effect sales of the car.

        • Matt

          What poor design are you referring to? Often negative criticism from journalists etc means nothing to sales. Sometimes the prettiest cars don’t sell either.

          • JRP

            The X7 and 7 Series’ massive grilles received negative criticism from everybody and memes were made. Now the electric Mini, a car I actually thought I’d buy, has the range of a Chinese LSEV.

          • Matt

            If the X7 and 7-series sell well then BMW have done their job. A lot of designs get criticized by the press but the models still go on to be successful.

  • Harry_Wild

    Just remember either hot or cool weather reduces the mileage by 30-40%! And if you drive it hard, additional mileage reduction on top of that range too!

    • Julien Lachemoi

      To be fair driving hard reduce your range no matter your engine.
      From 4.8L/100 my car can go up to 15L/100 and above.

    • ThatGuy

      Harry i agree, but let me add this, you dont even have to drive hard to get bad mileage, Use the radio and aircon in work traffic and boom range gone and yo have not even push to feel that fast EV buzz like a turbo.
      Plus this is their slow drive, no equipment use at all figure, reduce that but 30% for speeding up and slowing down alot, then another 20% for radio and aircon and boom your true range is 80 miles.

  • I NEVER THOUGHT OF THE MINI AS AN URBAN CAR. PERFORMANCE OVER RANGE IN AN URBAN CAR DOESN’T MAKE MUCH SENSE.
    GIVEN THAT A NICELY SPECKED MODEL CAN BE OVER 35K I DON’T KNOW WHY THEY ARE SO WORRIED ABOUT PRICE, MINI’S AIN’T CHEAP.

    • ThatGuy

      Michgo i agree. No EV so far is near affordable. That range is wow, its pretty crap.
      Hard pass here

      • THE FUNNY THING IS IF I WERE TO REPLACE MY CAR, WHICH I LOVE IT WOULD BE WITH AN EV MINI. I’D JUST WANT TO HAVE ENOUGH JUICE TO MAKE A ROUND TRIP TO THE FURTHEST DESTINATION I’D MORE THAN LIKELY GO.

        • ThatGuy

          Yes i get, i may not be a fan of the low range you will get, but Mini makes very nice cars. and this would be a good zip around car. Imagine a 500km range in this car.

  • ThatGuy

    What this tells me is that BMW is lagging behind in the EV game, i remember a article eons back saying the BMW team have a Tesla Pic in the office so staff know what they want to beat to become the benchmark.

    And ladies and gents we are here years later and Tesla’s range is becoming bigger and bigger and here BMW goes 146 controlled test miles is great.

    Nice one BMW/Mini, i like your cars, not so much the price and this indefensible bs you are pushing.
    Tesla will always haunt you, but hey at least you beating out Audi and Benz, so all things being even, that make you happy.

    • IF ONLY TESLA WOULD MAKE A CUTE HATCH.

      • ThatGuy

        Michgo i completely agree, one that affordable. I mean their interiors are ok, but the Model X is not exactly a looker.

  • Christian Wimmer

    “Mini says that the new Cooper SE is focused more on performance rather than range.”

    I live in Munich, Germany. Where the hell can I exploit the “performance” of this car in the city? Traffic jams are a daily occurrence, there are so many 30 km/h zones which drive you insane (and worsen the fuel economy of your ICE car…) and at night when you’d expect empty roads the traffic lights are programmed to annoy the living s*** out of you with a stop-and-go green/red traffic light system.

    A “performance city car”? Nice joke.

    • MAYBE HE SHOULD READ THIS ARTICLE AND THE COMMENTS AND SEE THAT HIS EXCUSE DOESN’T MAKE MUCH SENSE.

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